Payson Cooper Helps Entrepreneurs
Rake In The Profits While Having
Illegal Amounts Of Fun
But, trust me, it wasn’t always that way…
As a bonified ‘self-help junkie’ I’ve spent my entire life learning how to try and make myself ‘better’. Believe me, I’m still not over it. I’ll probably be buying a self-help books when I’ve got one foot in the grave.
And, all of this self-improvement hullabaloo put a serious damper on my professional and personal life for many years. Since everyone loves a good story, I bet you can’t wait to hear all of the crap-tastic mistakes I’ve made…
More on that in a minute.
On a positive note, the one element that led me into a sewer of negativity actually rendered a path to my success. You see, I “yam what I yam.” I freaking LOVE to learn. And so I channeled that love into something that could serve my clients. Now folks everywhere can borrow my self-proclaimed “geek brain” to get all the goodies to run a super successful and super fun business.
I’ve had the fortune of generating multiple 6-figure return ideas for some. I was the creative vision behind one of the biggest conferences devoted to women entrepreneurs. I talked one of my clients into charging $3,000 for a program that she originally planned to charge $300 for. And she sold out in a matter of days.
I’m not much of a bragger, but I figured since you were here and may be considering working with me (hint, hint), you’d want to know all about my street cred.
Now that it’s out of way… back to the story.
So, what’s the real story of how I went from a wet blanket, self-help junkie to living this blissed-out entrepreneurial dream?
My Cruel Fate
When I was 16 my parents (unbeknownst to me) decided it was time for Payson to go to private school. My grades had fallen from pretty straight A’s to C’s and D’s in about a semester, my brother was headed off to college and my parents wanted to start living their dream back in New York City, leaving the suburban digs behind. They gave me a choice – private school in Manhattan or staying in the burbs.
What they didn’t tell me….
If we stayed, I was going to a girl’s academy for some strict and serious straightening up.
I decided on NYC. I still can’t understand how my parents let me out of the apartment without a crew of bodyguards in the late 80’s. I was sure they were trying to ruin my life by giving me an 11pm curfew (“But Mom, nothing in this city STARTS until 11pm!”).
Looking back now, I’m 100% certain they should have chained me to my room and never let me out.
Freezing my Bazookas Off
For reasons I won’t detail here, I ended up in the lovely (and freaking COLD) state of Wisconsin for college (UW Madison to be exact), spent one amazing year in Paris (I’m still longing to go live there again), and then ended up back in NYC after graduating so I could enroll in a few more undergrad courses to give me what I needed to apply to PhD and Master’s programs in psychology. The former non-committal ‘History Major’ (my reasoning was that everything was history, so it was like NOT having to decide) had decided to become a sex therapist.
After much research (which I have no idea how I did – the internet didn’t exist… what the hell did we do, anyway?) and spending hours traveling all over New York City’s 5 boroughs to attend classes at different schools, I decided it was time to get a job and wait to get my advanced degree (read: I’d met a guy and wanted to stick around to see if it would work. It didn’t. He was a bum.)
After a few different gigs, I ended up working as a computer consultant for the City of New York, and for over 10 years, I moved through various positions until we all figured out I was darn good at a few key things, including being able to analyze the existing processes and systems and re-configure them into a better design… thus, I became a Business Systems Analyst and Designer.
But, on evenings and weekend (and pretty much every vacation I took) I was still searching for my ‘passion’ – that ONE thing that would feel so good to me, it would warrant it’s own random musical number in a TV show or movie.
Here are a few of the things I tried:
- Massage therapist (Yup, still licensed. No, I won’t give you one.)
- Bartender (I can mix a mean mojito… but I’m a bit rusty)
- Midwife (Certified to fit cervical caps… not too many people even know what they are, never mind being able to say that)
- Doula (combines that massage therapy thing with the midwife thing)
- Ballroom Dancing
- And more….
I said I love to learn… sheesh.
The Wind Beneath My Wings
Then I found the one thing that made me smile so hard, my cheeks hurt – Jewelry making.
It was like a little slice of heaven fell into my lap and I attacked it in the typical ‘Payson’ fashion, taking every class I could find and traveling to places that barely exist on a map, like Emporia, Kansas (TWICE), to learn techniques I couldn’t find taught anywhere else. And, even though making jewelry really did make my heart flutter, I realized pretty early on that I didn’t want to have a jewelry business. Making jewelry and running a jewelry business have little to do with one another, and I didn’t want to run THAT business.
It all Goes Down the Toilet
So, when I made some money in real estate investing (yes, the real estate license class came in quite handy for a few reasons), I decided it was time for me to step out on my own and quit my piece-by-piece soul-killing job.
I went out on my own… without a clue and, apparently, with a GREAT BIG block about money. I was absolutely freaked out that if I spent a penny of my savings, I’d rush through it all without making enough to support myself. And, guess what?
This crippling belief literally paralyzed me.
In fact, I got so deep into my fear around money, success and, as it turned out, failure, I actually created a tremendously painful physical scenario where I gained over 60 pounds in 6 months and had so much pain in every part of my body, particularly my joints, that I could barely move. Going up and down stairs was excruciating, and after standing for just a few minutes my feet and ankles hurt so bad it brought tears to my eyes. I had trouble showering, getting dressed – basically, doing everything.
This crippling belief seriously bit me on the ass. Hard.
On my birthday in January of 2007 I was out to dinner with a few people, as I got up to go to the restroom I had to stop and lean on the table to adjust to the searing pain in my feet – it felt like someone had chopped them off and left me hobbling on bloody stumps. A single thought went through my mind – “In a wheelchair in 6 months, dead in a year.” It wasn’t really a thought either… more of a knowing. Something had to give.
My Big Comeback
And, what gave was a decision…a decision to move forward even though I was scared… a decision to invest in myself and to really take a chance. I’d left my job, I’d launched one website, but I hadn’t really gone for it in the way that I knew how – so I finally did. Within just a few days of making that decision, things began to shift in every arena, including physically. That was when I launched the TransformationalJewelry.com collection – it was a piece of my heart and soul, and it still is. That collection expresses some of my deepest beliefs about the world in which we live – the crux of which is aligned with the Law of Attraction and the belief that our thoughts create our world and our reality (boy, have I given myself some proof of that!).
Through the process of really digging in with the TransformationalJewelry.com collection, I began to feel really inspired to learn (go figure, I was inspired to learn something…) about building a business. I studied with some of the greatest marketing minds in the world and focused on learning the business of online marketing and sales. I also still felt that something wasn’t quite right, I’d chosen a path – to build my jewelry businesses, but I still wasn’t fulfilled.
Going for the Gusto
During that time, I began to network more and more… and as I did I found the same strength and skills that had shown up in my consulting days displayed themselves again. Before long I realized I was experiencing absolute bliss as I helped other female entrepreneurs shift into high-gear and start making more money more easily.
Through a quick analysis of where they were, combined with my knowledge of marketing and different business systems and structures I was able to help them simplify their processes, see the big money making opportunities and show them the clear path to pounce on their success.
It turns out, I had to walk a long (and winding!) path to find my true passion, and now, I have completely unleashed my heart – and it soars with my clients each time they breakthrough another barrier around success and money.
13 Things You Don’t Know About Me
- I might be a little superstitious. (Wait, isn’t 13 an unlucky number? Sh*t.)
- I was born part fish – well, not literally, but I LOVE to swim. Unfortunately, I’m hyper sensitive to chlorine (probably from living in pools as a kid), so need to find natural swimming conditions… which leads me to..
- My dream is to live on a beach front farm. I want to grow things to eat while looking at the water. So far, I’ve found one place where beach front farms can be found… if you ever find one for sale, you know who to send the link to, right?
- Nature is essential to my well-being. If I go for too long without going to a park (right now Central Park) I get more than a little bit wonky.
- I sometimes use the wrong word – the one I use will have a similar meaning, so it’ll get the point across, but it isn’t the right one… usually it’s because I couldn’t remember the right one – examples? “Different brand of dog” or “Rug my room”.
- My favorite song of all time is Solisbury Hill by Peter Gabriel. A good friend my senior year of college made me a tape of that song in a continuous loop for my birthday. I almost wore it out.
- When I moved into NYC at the age of 16 my mother told me, on the bus on the way to my first day of school, that we would have to get me some black clothes (it was the late 80s – EVERYTHING was black). I said, “Over my dead body.” Within 3 weeks, most of my wardrobe was black.
- I biked 1000 miles through Denmark and Norway as a teen. Haven’t really ridden a bike since. Perhaps it fulfilled my life’s quota. Maybe someday I’ll share why I chose Denmark and Norway, but we need to get to know each other better first… (which must have happened, as I recently shared that story here…)
- Before I was 21 I lost my passport in 3 different countries – the first time it was stolen and I got it back, but then left it on the back of a public toilet 2 days later…then promptly rode 45 miles away. I still got it back. Oh, and 3’s a charm – haven’t lost it since (knock on wood).
- My favorite weather is cool misty rain – I long for it when it’s sunny for too many days in a row, and when it rains I feel so much relief.
- I’m addicted to House Hunters and House Hunters International, Mike & Molly, The Mentalist, Pawn Stars and Dual Survival (I want to watch that last one every day – EVERY DAY)
- If I put my mind to it, I think I could carve almost anything out of wax.
- Martha Stewart Living is my secret ‘guilty pleasure’ – well, WAS my secret guilty pleasure. I pull out the craft pages and save them because I honestly believe that someday I will do them.